Pakistan intelligence chief to visit US on Aug. 1-3: army
Islamabad, July 29 (Xinhua-ANI): Pakistan army has announced that the intelligence chief will pay a three-day official visit to the United States on August 1-3 for talks on bilateral talks with his American counterpart, a late Saturday army's statement said.
This will be the first visit to the U.S. by Director General, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General Muhammad Zahirul Islam, since he has assumed office in March.
The ISI chief's scheduled visit to Washington was postponed in May due to what the military had stated due to his "pressing commitments".
"ISI Director General Lieutenant General Muhammad Zahirul Islam will visit the US from August 1-3," the army's statement said.
The army said the ISI chief trip will be a service-to-service bilateral visit, wherein the ISI Director General will meet his counterpart General David H Petraeus, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director.
The statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) did not give any details about the agenda.
Earlier Pakistani media had reported that Lt-Gen Islam talks will also focus on unilateral drone attacks by the U.S.
It is likely that emphasis on provision of strategic and technical intelligence input obtained through drones will be sought, so that Pakistan can take action against terrorists.
The spymaster's travel to the US will be the first by a high- ranking military officer since the unilateral raid by the US Special Forces into Pakistan to kill al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
The visit will take place at a time when relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. has improved in recent weeks particularly after Islamabad unblocked the 8-month routes for NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Both countries are now close to sign soon a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about the NATO cargo to-and-from Afghanistan via Pakistan.
Pakistani media says that the ISI chief will also discuss matters related to counter-terrorism cooperation with David Petraeus, and other senior American officials. (Xinhua-ANI)
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